The credit union is celebrating its second anniversary with the program and giving back nearly $200,000 in Cash Rewards to members
SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Mission Federal Credit Union, San Diego’s largest member-owned, not-for-profit, full-service financial institution exclusively serving San Diego County, is celebrating two years of dramatic mortgage growth after implementing the HomeAdvantage® program from CU Realty Services. The turnkey real estate marketing platform helps credit unions retain more of its members’ mortgage business. Since launching HomeAdvantage, Mission Fed has been able to retain 96 percent of its applications when members use the program. In addition, the credit union has helped members save nearly $200,000 at closing through HomeAdvantage’s cash-back benefit.
Since launching HomeAdvantage in April of 2018, the 257,000-member credit union has achieved 96 percent pull-through with HomeAdvantage, a 182 percent improvement. The HomeAdvantage program has helped 69 buyers and 10 sellers close on their homes so far. Of the 69 buyers, 66 of them remained with Mission Fed for financing as well. The credit union’s impressive success is the result of HomeAdvantage’s critical nurturing protocols, initiatives to keep employees educated and engaged, and a strong focus on year-round marketing.
Enhanced Mortgage Lead Nurturing & Tracking
In the years prior to implementing HomeAdvantage, Mission Fed was able to increase its purchase mortgage pull-through rate from 14 percent to 34 percent by establishing a team of commissioned loan officers and a small network of real estate agents. With the goal of increasing that rate significantly further, the credit union sought a solution to better nurture and track the mortgage leads it sent to agent partners.
“One of the biggest challenges for us, and one of the things that we saw as a big solution with HomeAdvantage, was that it was really hard to track the business we were generating with our realtor partners,” said Dan Helt, Real Estate Sales Manager for Mission Fed. “We couldn’t tell how much business we were sending to those realtors, and we couldn’t tell what was happening with that business after it was sent. We trusted that they were keeping the business with us, but there was really no way to track that with any certainty.”
On the front end, HomeAdvantage features a real estate search portal that attracts and converts members into the credit union’s purchase lead pipeline. On the back end, a powerful command center not only nurtures those leads until they are ready for a mortgage but provides real-time tracking. HomeAdvantage blends email automation with personal outreach via phone, text and chat from its Member Concierge team. Those efforts are balanced with a network of certified real estate agents who are trained to keep the credit union front-of-mind when members are ready for financing.
All activity is tracked and shared via an online reporting center. Credit unions can review new users, agent referrals, pending closings, and member experience ratings, among other reports.
“HomeAdvantage takes real estate partnerships to the next level with all the encouragement that agents need to keep the business with us and tracking mechanisms to identify whether or not they’re honoring that commitment,” said Helt.
Early Member Engagement & Cash Rewards
HomeAdvantage helps expand Mission Fed’s mortgage program into a one-stop shop for mortgage services. The HomeAdvantage front-end tools, which are promoted on Mission Fed’s website, attract members at the beginning of their home buying journey and include MLS listings, real estate agent search, community data and property valuations.
“People now start shopping for homes earlier and online. They are often doing research before they engage with an agent,” said Helt. “When we connect members to our HomeAdvantage resources, we get to be their first point of contact and it puts us in a position of being a resource for our members on multiple levels outside of just the mortgage itself.”
One of the most attractive aspects of the program is the rewards that members can qualify to receive at closing by using HomeAdvantage. At Mission Fed, members earn an average of $2,400 cash-back per transaction. In 2019, members earned a total of $112,000.
“Knowing that they’ve got help towards closing costs or a check after closing is a huge deal for members, especially here in San Diego where homes are extremely expensive, and most folks are trying to scrape together every penny to make the transaction work,” said Helt. “I think that’s an attractive component of HomeAdvantage that gets members’ attention early on.”
Focus on Employee Empowerment
Mission Fed’s impressive success has been achieved in great part by empowering and engaging their employees with the program. Mission Fed has broadly implemented HomeAdvantage across all levels of staff who interact with members on mortgage-related topics, from loan officers to their teller line.
“We felt that the more people who were using HomeAdvantage, the better off we were going to be. Our employees in the branch have the relationships with the members, so they are going to have the most opportunities to enroll them,” said Helt.
HomeAdvantage features an Employee Dashboard where employees can log in and access the tools they need to register members into the program as well as refer them to trusted real estate experts. The site also features on-demand training that reinforces the live training provided by CU Realty Services during the implementation process.
“Our staff wants to provide the best overall experience for our members. They have a vested interest in using HomeAdvantage because they know our members are going to have a great experience. The rewards are a cherry on top of that,” said Helt.
Mission Fed’s Next Goals
In 2020 and beyond, Mission Fed’s overarching goal is to continue to increase the volume of registrations and referrals into their HomeAdvantage program, according to Helt. “Our pull–through with HomeAdvantage is extremely high. I think that goes back to having good competitive mortgage programs and the HomeAdvantage team really encouraging members to stick with us.” They also are focused on giving back even more Cash Rewards to members each year.
“Mission Fed’s success demonstrates what can be achieved when a credit union makes HomeAdvantage part of their corporate culture,” says Tina Powers, Chief Operating Officer at CU Realty Services. “In a short time, Mission Fed has built a strong lead pipeline by leveraging all that HomeAdvantage has to offer. Based on their solid commitment to the program and their strong start, we are excited to see how far Mission Fed takes HomeAdvantage in the coming years!”
About Mission Federal Credit Union
Mission Fed Credit Union is San Diego’s largest member-owned, not-for-profit, full-service financial institution exclusively serving San Diego County. Mission Fed has over $4 billion in assets, over 257,000 customers, 32 convenient branches, and 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide.
Mission Fed enhances the lives of its customers through financial education and financial services such as Checking, Savings, Loans, Credit Cards and Insurance. In addition, Mission Fed puts money back into the communities of San Diego and helps hundreds of non-profits. Banking at Mission Fed means doing good for San Diego. Federally insured by NCUA and Equal Housing Lender. To learn more, visit www.MissionFed.com.
About CU Realty Services, LLC
CU Realty Services provides real estate services to credit unions across the nation, helping them increase their purchase mortgage business. The CUSO works with more than 120 credit unions and mortgage CUSOs in 24 states to offer its turnkey real estate marketing platform, HomeAdvantage. Through the program, credit union members can search for homes, research neighborhoods, calculate costs of homeownership, connect to experienced real estate agents and qualify to earn HomeAdvantage Cash Rewards. By offering this program to members, credit unions are able to attract, identify and engage more home buyers, and consequently close more loans. To learn more, please visit www.curealty.com.
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